Kauppatieteellinen tiedekunta, 2017
Johtaminen ja organisaatiot
Master's Degree Programme in International Business
The mining industry is amongst the most gender segregated industries in the world and women’s inclusion lacks especially in top management and operational side of business. Though the workforce participation of women has slowly increased globally, men have dominated the upper echelons of the industry for decades. Hence, the purpose of the study is to investigate successful women’s careers and firstly identify factors that have helped or hindered respective career progression in the mining industry and secondly, gain insight whether the career trajectories are organizational or contemporary in nature. The research draws particular focus on careers, gender and career progression in the midst of a male-dominated environment.
In this qualitative study, a narrative research approach was applied. The data was collected through twelve episodic interviews with female leaders and specialists from four countries. The results indicate that women’s career trajectories are physically mobile and characterized by quest for volition and subjective career success. The women also adopted contemporary careers, which entail various aspects of organizational, boundaryless, and protean career concepts, in the mining industry. Notwithstanding the affirmative influence of developmental relationships and opportunities, support, and training and development, attitudinal and structural barriers within the mining industry continue to impact women’s career progression.
Future research could examine women’s careers from a longitudinal and mixed-methods perspective. Also, the interplay of career concepts requires scholarly attention apart from the need to clarify the abundance of career-related terms. Yet, the research limitations include the external impact in sample selection and the retrospective nature of narratives. In addition, the transferability of the findings is restricted. To conclude, this paper takes a unique stand and fills a research gap by studying the career trajectories of women in the mining industry and male-dominated functions. Further, this study expands the women-in-mining research to Europe by drawing focus to a Finnish multinational, Company X.
women; careers; narrative research; mining industry